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FOSS4G2006 - Free And Open Source Software for Geoinformatics
FOSS4G2006 - Free And Open Source Software for Geoinformatics
11-15 September 2006 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Marine biodiversity is responsible in large part for the earth natural wealth. This 
importance can be assured by the fisheries and tourism industries, whilst it 
provide important ecosystems services, such as protection of the coast and 
absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, the marine biodiversity 
has been declining through the centuries mainly due to human activities. Despite 
the global research efforts to understand ocean’s biodiversity, they still lack an 
integrated and systemic approach, resulting in isolated data and perceptions of the 
real impact of human activities. 

The construction of knowledge about biodiversity is a cooperative product. Its 
study and conservation efforts require a multi and interdisciplinary approach 
(CANHOS et al., 2004). Therefore, any attempt to integrated data from different 
sources requires data standards definitions, such as proper metadata to 
characterize the environment, means of data sampling, processing, exchange and 
integration. Besides setting standards, it also requires Information Technology – 
IT tolls to allow virtual integration of distinct data sets and potential analysis 
to build up knowledge. Finally, since it is a cooperative product, distributed 
access is the key issue for setting a strong collaborative network between 
researchers and institutions. In other words, everyone should benefit for sharing 
data and information.

Ongoing international efforts to integrate data from different projects and 
monitoring programs have been focused in the potential benefits from Information 
Technology, especially those based on the World Wide Web. This is the case of UNEP 
World Conservation Monitoring Centre  and its IMAPS (Centre’s Interactive Map 
Service) initiative; OBIS-SEAMAP  (Ocean Biogeographic Information System - Spatial 
Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations); ReefBASE  (Global Information 
System on Coral Reefs). These three examples embrace global scale, whereas others 
follow country limits, such as BERDS  (Biodiversity and Environmental Resource Data 
System) from Belize).

Despite the significant data and information that has been produced for the past 
thirty years, the efforts towards such IT applications to integrate and visualize 
biodiversity data in Brazil are still shy. The Centro de Referência em Informação 
Ambiental – CRIA  is one of the ongoing initiatives. The Marine Mammals Monitoring 
System (SIMMAM ) is a recent attempt to integrate marine mammals’ data that is well 
fragmented in the hands of institutions and researchers. In addition to the 
official support of the Brazilian Environmental Agency, the project will receive in 
2006 financial resources from PETROBRAS to conduce a thorough review of 
publications and public onboard observers’ registers from sismic operation of oil 
industry. These data will be eventually added to the system.

A few marine conservation projects, such as TAMAR, BALEIA FRANCA, BALEIA JUBARTE, 
and ALBATROZ are investing part of its efforts in the construction of information 
systems to handle the significant amount of data that has been produced in the past 
years. They are conscious of the limitations and risks of having data in separate 
spreadsheet, and the benefits of having a database. The important aspect of it is 
that they already see the perspective of data integration, therefore they are 
seeking solutions that a based in the Web. The TAMAR Project is an example. Its 
DBASE database which holds twenty five years of data sampling will be migrated to a 
web based information systems that include data visualization via WebGIS and web 
services for interoperability. The system will be fully operational by June/2006 .  
Taking the Brazilian scenario as an opportunity, this project proposes the 
development of a framework for an Internet based Brazilian Marine Biodiversity 
Observatory - OBBIM. This objective is supported by SIMMAM project itself, plus 
partners such as TAMAR and BALEIA FRANCA. In a long run it is expected that other 
projects adhere to the Observatory objectives.

In general terms, the observatory should support international standards for 
metadata and data exchange, such as XML, WMS and WFS. It should include access to 
different data sources through web services, integration and geospatial support to 
foster oceanographic research community interaction and data exchange. It also must 
provide open source architecture to reduce maintenance costs.

The Observatory conceptual framework has been constructed upon international 
similar experiences, and will be operational for tests from june 2006.
Id: 28
Place: Lausanne, Switzerland
Room: Cubotron (Auditoire III)
Starting date:
15-Sep-2006   10:30
Duration: 30'
Contribution type: Conference
Primary Authors: Dr. SPERB, Rafael (UNIVALI)
Co-Authors: Mr. BUGHI, Carlos Henrique (UNIVALI)
Dr. FERNANDES, Anita Maria da Rocha (UNIVALI)
Presenters: Dr. SPERB, Rafael
Included in session: Session 16 : Organizational empowerment through Open GIS

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